To the east of Melbourne’s CBD are the Fitzroy Gardens, renowned for being some of the most beautiful in the city. Fitzroy Gardens is also where you can find one of the most historic buildings in Australia, Captain Cook’s Cottage. This building was originally built in England and transferred to the Fitzroy Gardens to be rebuilt brick-by-brick during the early 20th century, where it still stands today and is one of Melbourne’s most visited tourist attractions. Fitzroy Gardens remain a popular spot to be frequented by university students to study before, after or between classes.
A park that extends along the north side of the Yarra River from the modern architectural meeting place Federation Square, Birrarung Marr is often the location of many local festivals. The name is derived from two different Aboriginal languages, one from the Melbourne area, and one from Adelaide. Together, this name means ‘beside the river’. This park is, of course, a fantastic place to relax by the river, but don’t forget to check out the impressive sculptures, especially the Federation Bells on the middle terrace, a collection of inverted bells suspended on poles that are electronically controlled to play pieces by original Australian compositions.
One of the largest and most iconic gardens in Australia, the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens are located just south of the CBD. They cover over 38 hectares of land stretched along Melbourne’s Yarra River and contain thousands of different exotic and native Australian plants. These gardens are also home to the relaxing and popular Moonlight Cinema; the commemorative Shrine of Remembrance, which is Melbourne’s largest war memorial; and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, part of the Arts Centre Melbourne, and one of Australia’s largest outdoor theatres.
The Flagstaff Gardens are Melbourne’s oldest park, having been established in 1862, and is listed as one of Australia’s heritage sites. Originally, these gardens were a cemetery for Melbourne’s earliest colonial inhabitants. Just across from these gardens is the famous Queen Victoria Market, which is one of the largest markets in greater Melbourne. These gardens are also home to many mature trees and flowerbeds, as well as wild native animals such as possums and an array of native birdlife.
Out in Frankston, about a 30-minute drive south-east of Melbourne’s CBD, you’ll be able to find the McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park. This innovative outdoor art space is set on four grassy acres of land, and boasts a collection of over 100 sculptures that display the significance of Australian wildlife and Australia’s bush landscape. The McClelland Gallery and Sculpture Park remains the main focus for sculpture in Australia and is one of the largest sculpture parks in the country.
By Matthew Clark
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Matthew Clark is currently living in the south of France and working as an English language teacher. After graduating from a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, he plans to travel the world to experience the food, wine and culture it has to offer.